Apple TV (2010) first reviews

Apple TV (2010) doesn't seem to be getting as traditional or coordinated a release as most iOS devices, but some media outlets have gotten their geeky little hands on the all new a little early and shared their impressions... and their videos.

Follow on after the break for the early word on triumphs and tragedies.

Clayton Morris of Fox News thinks Apple may have a "quiet hit" on their hands:

The new Apple TV is very promising, but it won't amount to hill of beans if Apple markets it the same way they did the last one -- basically not at all. Apple can jokingly call it a 'hobby,' but if the company wants it to be a successful hobby they need to educate consumers the same way they did with the iPad.

Tim Gideon of PCMag says it's feature-driven and streamlined:

The new, miniature Apple TV costs less than most iPods. Sure, the rental limitations can be irksome, but, particularly for iOS device owners, the new features dramatically outweigh the letdowns. Because of its affordability, ease-of-use, and impressive capabilities, the Apple TV gets our Editors' Choice award. If more networks were onboard the 99-cent rental bandwagon at launch, it would have received an even-higher rating. Fingers crossed the TV selection will improve over time.

Joshua Topolsky of Engadget thinks AirPlay could be a game-changing component of the Apple TV:


So, much like the original Apple TV, it's promising but held back by the myopia of Hollywood and second-class citizen status at Apple?

As more reviews go online, we'll add to the list and we'll be back sometime this weekend with our own TiPb review.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple TV (2010) first reviews


Mine should have got here 5 mins ago! Im pissed! My Fedex driver's always late. Will TIPB be accepting pics like how they did for Iphone 4? Sorry, Im just that damn excited!

When you consider that I was going to buy an AirPort Express in order to stream music to my family room speakers, this becomes a real no-brainer. Now I know what my kids will be getting me for my birthday. :)

I'm still trying to decide on this one. There are only two functions this brings to me: TV rentals and AirPlay. Rentals sound good, but with such a small selection, I can't yet see that as a huge benefit, especially since I can view the same shows on Hulu Plus that's on my internet-connected TV. AirPlay sounds great too, but if this lives in my family room (sans portability), it would always be connected to my computer, which would have any media that my iOS device would have. Currently, my 1st gen Apple TV streams from the computer just fine. So again, I'm not sure how much I would gain from this new generation.

Tv's are on of those things that come out so often an so many diffrent manufacs and i have seen no ads at all so will this take off no its for the fanboys only i dont know anyome who bought the first and the launch for this seems the same so the out come seems logical

i still think that Apple with have another announcement in November (in conjunction with iOS 4.2) that reveal all the magic of AppleTV. Angry Birds will be there, Pandora will be there, NYTimes will be there. Boom.

I don't think the rental model is going to work out. I think the most successful model will be about $10/month for unlimited streaming, of selected content, as Netflix and Hulu are doing. You won't get everything for $10, but you won't be limited on how often you can watch. The content will be divided up according to the providers. That is, each of the networks and cable channels will charge their $10 separately.

JasonM, if you have a current gen Apple TV, don't need Netflix Instant Queue access and are okay with the heat that the current ATV generates (I'm not), the new Apple TV is not for you.
Got a link to a store selling PS3s for $99, BNV6?

$99 to stream all your media from your pc or mac to your tv and stereo. No brainer.
Plus (limited) tv rentals, movie rentals and Netflix. People always complains what things DON'T do. It's dirt cheap for what it DOES do, plus I'm sure added functionality down the road...

@ Grant: I already have a PS3 and it does everything an Apple TV does + more. PS3 is worth the 300.

Did you ever stop to think that AppleTV could be a good bridge product, say to conveniently bridge iOS devices and iTunes to the TV? $99 is not all that much money.
I have enough inputs on my tuner to support both an AppleTV and my PS3. What makes you think that its a zero sum game?

there's new remote app... but it's still as useless as ever for me (tends to not be able to connect to my library until I add it again)

The whole "hobby" thing is such a cliche. Streaming audio and video from third party apps via AirPlay will be a game-changer.

@BNV6, I've had a PS3 since launch. The PS3 sounds like an airplane is taking off 15 minutes into a movie. For a serious movie watcher its a non-starter unless you can install it in another room. And for streaming media only its like buying a Hummer when you spend most of your time in NYC. For playing games though, its fantastic.

I just gave away my PS3 to my wife's sister's family because I'd rather have Aaple TV instead. Much better UI experience than PS3. Plus when all the iOS apps are installable will blow out the doors to amazing possibilities. I want that for my Tube Organizer iPad and soon to be iPhone app.

I have a PS3 connected to the Internet. Never felt the need to download movie because I don't like the idea of having another account on my credit card. So is it worth it getting Apple TV? I have IP4, iPad, and MacB.

Getting an Apple TV is like paying a movie salesman to come in and sit in your living room. I mean, do I really need to pay $99 for the pleasure of browsing through movies to buy from iTunes? The Netflix instant streaming is kind of a commodity by now, so that doesn't really get me excited either.
It just seems like this doesn't do anything more than the Xbox 360 or PS3.

I had a launch PS3, and it it did sound like being on a tarmac, especially when upscaling DVDs. Eventually, I replaced it with a PS3 Slim, and it is much, much quieter.

I own a PS3 and have hardly used it for games (I did when I first bought it) and now is basically a glorified Blue-Ray player. I am not a subscriber to NetFlix and the PS3 solution (need an additional DVD to use it) did not appeal to me either.
That being said I am buying an ATV. People making the comparisons to dedicated video gaming consoles need to understand that the price of ATV plus the ability to stream video from any iDevice make the purchase a better "impulse" buy than a box that plays games and does video streaming. If you already own a PS3 or Xbox 360 and it does everything you need it to, that's great. However, for myself the ATV will actually do MORE than the PS3 which like I mentioned, I don't play games with anymore.

I got an Apple TV for when I travel for work. Most hotel rooms have HDMI hookups for their LCD TV's so this will be awesome to watch my instant queue on Netflix instead of using my iPad. Airplay will be huge for me at home, now I just have to find time to rip my movies to MP4 format and I'll be set!

"$99 to stream all your media from your pc or mac to your tv and stereo. No brainer."
Codec support is far too limited to say "all your media" - it won't accept my .avi (mostly XViD), .mkv, nor all of my .mp4 files... My Synology DS-207+ streams most things to my PS3 and for those that can't be sent without a transcode (pretty rare for what I do), I can turn TVersity or something similar (PS3MediaServer, MediaTomb, Twonky, etc.) on for a bit or just use MediaCoder to make it streamable w/out a transcode. AirPlay seems like a big win, but it's a big leap to say it plays all your media.
Besides which, $0.99 TV rentals aren't so hot when Amazon has $0.99 TV episode PURCHASES and other devices support Hulu/Hulu Plus ($9.99/month all you can eat, though I just use PlayOn to forward Hulu to my PS3).

And as far as impulse buys, the pricing was essential to this device having any success at all, but informed consumers will be looking at Roku's new lineup and some will consider the Boxee Box or other spendy options like a Mac Mini/SFF HTPC/Xbox/PS3.

In Edmonton Canada, the xBox is the way to go. It streams pretty much any content off my PC and now through Telus and Bell you can use it as a high def PVR. Telus even offers the slim one free if you sign a two year contract. Streaming off an iPhone/pad/pod is neat, but that is what the headphone jack is for coming off the home stero, or even better you can keep it in your pocket and by a 50 bluetooth receiver to connect any bluetooth audio capable device to the home theater.

MY ps3(launch day) and ps3 slim run everything perfect, super quiet. Everyone else that is exaggerating the sound it makes must be flipping stupid or you got sold a crappy ps3 which is your fault for not knowing what to buy.

The rental aspect is def going to be expanded upon as that's probably one of the biggest draws
But for the price it's worth a punt IMO

Hmph, PS3 with Netfilx and BluRay, or Apple TV...Wii with Netflix (Non-HD), or Apple TV, XBOX 360 with Netflix and HDMI DVD player (which is soon to be out-dated), OR Apple TV!!!
With video game consoles, sure I can watch my Netflix streams and wait for my DVDs in snail-mail if it the movie or show I want isn't available on the stream. Or, I could shell out a few extra bucks and watch it instantly, in HD, using Apple TV. That should save a few days of waiting between DVDs. I may not be able to play video games on Apple TV, but that's why I have video gaming devices. Streaming music, connectivity between my computer, TV, iPhone, and other iOS platforms. I have to disagree with the PS3 and XBOX drones here, Apple TV is an awesome device in its own class and shouldn't be compared to video game devices.

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